Friday, 22 May 2009

200th Post = Reflection

This is my 200th post! I didn't realise this until just now when I opened up my blog so instead of what I planned to blog about, thought I should recap a little of what's been going down in my world since the blog started...

I first started blogging intending to focus on the impact giving up dancing has had on my life. I never intended to go into depths about my eating disorder, though in hindsight, that was kind of unavoidable. I started dancing when I was 20- it was pure chance that I went to the class, and completely unexpected that I would not only go BACK for more classes, but that I would fall in love with dancing. There is no feeling in the world to me that matches the adrenaline rush a the music starts, the feeling of rhythm pulsing through my body, my muscles surging with power as the warm-up kicked off. My dance studio started to feel like 'home'- a safe place where there was no time to think about calories or weight, except to feel the strength of my body as I leaped and twirled around the room. I watched myself in the mirror- not criticising my body for what it looked like, but seeing how I could master the movements and copy my teacher's demonstration. It was the first time that I saw food as FUEL- much needed energy to power me through my classes. I ate with dancing on my brain, my muscles reaping the benefits of a healthy and adequate diet. My focus shifted from what foods were "safe" to what foods would give me the best sources of energy for dancing.

After several injuries, I had to accept that dancing could no longer be a part of my life. I felt lost without my "safe place" to go to, food felt unnecessary, strength and health just felt...meaningless. It all felt very unfair. I had nobody to blame but myself- my years of disordered eating had taken too much of a toll on my body for me to carry on with something I was so passionate about.

Dancing was replaced with losing weight again- I drifted from one thing to another (classes, jobs, activities) trying to fill that void. I moved around a lot- London to Scotland to New York to Scotland, back to New York, back to Scotland, to London...trying to find somewhere I fitted in, somewhere I felt safe, somewhere my eating disorder would not be present. Do I miss dancing? Sometimes. For the most part, I have accepted that that chapter of my life has ended and have focused my energy on other things. Then there are times when I drift into daydreams of being back in the studio, aware of nothing but the floor beneath my feet, the fan above my head, the mirrors lining the walls, the music pulsing through the studio. I get pangs not unlike 'homesickness', but overall, I've moved on and am okay with that. I miss what it represented to me and the way my life WAS back then- the same reasons why I miss New York. I miss who I became in the studio.

It has taken me a long time to realise that my eating disorder is inside of me. Changing the outside doesn't change the inside- dancing helped me manage my relationship with my body/food, and it felt like the floor had been pulled from beneath me when I had to stop.

That void is still there. How do I manage it? I try different things. Some days writing helps. Some days long walks help. Some days being with other people helps. Some days being by myself helps. There is no "one size fits all"- finding what works at any given moment is trial and error. Every day is different- I wake up with a slightly different view of the world and of myself. My goals change, my perception changes, the seasons change. I am trying, to the best of my ability, to face up to what I am thinking and feeling. To own it, to accept it, to embrace it. To say, "this is where I am right now". I have crappy moments and crappy days- but who doesn't? Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I am starting to see that it is the contrast between the rainstorms and sunshine that make me appreciate the sun's warmth, and gives me the strength to brave the storms.

So yes, the blog has changed a lot over the last 200 posts. So have I. I am becoming ME- discovering and creating the strong and independent person I want to be, who doesn't need anorexia in her life, who has the strength to fight her own demons, and speaks her own truth. This is not the end of my journey by any means- in some ways, it's just a beginning. A beginning I am excited about because it's the start of a solo journey- without anorexia by my side.

Woah. That was longer than I intended. Sorry guys!


Food and fun and shenanigans...


Breakfast at the lovely hour of 5am...


Bran flakes, Fage cherry twin pot and microwaved banana. Heaven in a bowl! I've never seen the Fage 2% yogurts here aside from the twin pots- anyone in the UK managed to hunt it down?


Snack- Sam over at Eat Natural was kind enough to send my some of their new bars to try!




This was DELICIOUS! The chewy dried fruit, the crunchy nuts, the crisp puffed rice and yogurt coating was an amazing combination. It tasted just like Bakewell Tart! Check out all the fruit and nuts in this bar...



Lunch after work was a new one for me...




Quorn fillets with BBQ sauce, a little shredded cheese and spinach on a wholewheat sandwich thin. This was really good! I've had BBQ sauce in the fridge for months, and never really use it- same with the quorn fillets in my freezer. YAY for branching out and discovering great combinations!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

15 comments:

emilydh211 said...

wow girl! 200 posts?! That is quite the accomplishment. I'm glad that throughout those posts you have grown as a person and a stronger person, at that. You are amazing my dear. I hope your weekend is fabulous! <3

curlytop said...

Ellie!

200 posts. Hooray!

Congrats girlie,

Emily

itsawrapteacher said...

Happy 200th post! Your blog has evolved into so much more and you are such a strong person for sharing your feelings and story. Thanks!

dietlexy said...

Hi! omg I really enjoyed reading your post! I am training to be a professional dancer but have been dealing with a long term injury for about a year now so can totally relate to your feelings about being in the studio! when your focusing on dancing focus on ur ed definitly takes a back seat! ur food is always so healthy and delicious! Ive never eaten one of those eat well bars but I might start they look amazing! and u no me for the quorn! luv it! have u had da nuggets? or cheese escalopes? amazing! keep going strong xx
what injuries did u suffer from? are u still able to exercise? xx

Cacti Don't Cry said...

As a huge klutz, I completely cannot relate to the dancing part of this... ;) It is awesome though to be able to see yourself grow and change.

Congratulations on 200 posts!

<3 <3

ohsoravenous said...

Yay! Happy two-hundy to your blog!

You are absolutely right - we must change from the inside. Moving around cannot make us happy or free...this comes from within.

kali said...

thumbs up to ya babe. you are inspiring and i am so excited to know that YOU WILL MAKE IT. i have always always believed in you and it gives me a huge grin to see you making such huge strides...
...i think of the person who threw ensure over kayanne and ran away laughing (i remember looking at you with utter admiration and wishing i had the balls to do that). you are ballsy, strong willed and hilarious.
love ya babe xxxx

moretolifethanlettuce said...

Happy blogaversary! :) 2 hundo? Go you! It's so interesting to hear about the evolution of your blog..I didn't realize the story behind your title! I'm sorry that quitting dance has left a void in your life, but I know you'll be able to find another passion that you enjoy in a healthy way too! What type of dance did you do? I'm so impressed that you started at 20, I think most people would be too intimidated to start if they hadn't been doing it since they were tots! I know you've struggled with injuries (and ED, obviously,) but is there any way you could get back into dance? Not necessarily in such an intensive way, but like a class once a week or something? Might give you something to look forward to/ make you see food as fuel again!

Katie said...

I think I have a similar relationship with running as you with dance. When I'm running I can easily see food as fuel and I appreciate my body so much more. It was really interesting reading your recap - it sounds like you have made some really big steps forward, and it'll be great to see where you are in another 200 posts time!!
I hope you have a nice weekend :)

Rose 'n' Coffee said...

I'm sure I've seen the Fage 2% yogurts in Morrisons.
I would love to try those Eat Natural bars but they're so expensive.

EvilGenius said...

they have Fage 2% in Waitrose too. it's SO worth making the switch :)
(btw I am EvilGenius everywhere, you probly know me ;))
xx

burpandslurp said...

oh, ellie! this post struck and touched me in so many levels...it was awesome to hear your story...but also made me sad about the struggles you went though, then ultimately proud and glad at how strong you've become! I'm so happy blogging has benefited you in such wonderful ways...you sure celebrated your 200th post with a bang!

lilveggiepatch said...

I love this post! You HAVE grown so much, and I love that you're honest enough with yourself to realize and be proud of that.

Happy 200! I LOVE fake chicken!

:) said...

the only word to describe this post: beautiful.

rediscoveringlauren said...

hi hun
congrats on the 200th post :)
you really have made so much progress in recovery since youve started the blog, so well dont girlie, its so positive!
i just bought some quorn fillets yesturday, im looking forward to trying them now :)
i LOVE eat natural bars...my fav is the almond apricot on thats covrered in yogurt!
have a nice night hun
xxxx